Black Women Minorities in the Workplace Interview: Victoria A

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We live in a day and age where unfortunately there is a lack of representation of Black Females everywhere we look from the media, beauty industry right down to in our offices.  Women make up to 47% of the workforce but when you consider how many are black females that percentage dwindles down to 10-18% varying within fields. 
I want to shine a light on those females that are within certain fields to show representation, though you might not see us we are present.
A brief description of who you are and what it is you do?
Hello, my name is Victoria, I'm 24 years old living in Southampton and I'm a Management Accounts Assistant in Winchester. So I report to the UK Finance Manager and I'm responsible for producing the Management Accounts for our Northern Regions. I communicate on a daily basis with our commercial managers in Manchester and Scotland to help them with any further  analysis they may need and also with preparations with year end budgets.  I'm currently studying for my professional accounting qualification  CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)  which I have been doing for a year and half now, I'm glad to say I'm half way through the course and all the hard work has been paying off. 

In your department how many other minorites are there? How many other black females?
In my department there are  17 of us with three other minorities, with no other black females so I am the only one.However, there is another minority female. 

Working in Accounting  do feel that minorities, especially black people and black females are represented fairly?
That's a hard question, with the few years of experience I have had in the accounting industry, I would definitely say there has been a lack of minorities especially black people that I have come across.  Bearing in mind that the geographical areas I have been working for are predominantly white, this may be different in other areas such as London. However, my female black friends who also studied Accounting and Finance with me at university are in very good jobs in this industry.

Do you ever feel that being a black female has ever stopped you from speaking out at work?
I don't believe being a black female has ever stopped from me from speaking out at work. Even though I am the only black female in my department  I work in a friendly environment so I feel free to speak out. However, I do understand for other black females who may not be working in a friendly environment it may be a bit harder for them to speak out freely.

Do you feel that you get overlooked for career progression or opportunities at work due to being a black female?
I'm actually grateful to God that being a black female has not hindered me in any ways with regards to career progression or opportunities. It's actually been quite the opposite for me, I've had so many opportunities to progress and grow in my career such as starting my professional qualification, enhanced responsibilities and  flying to Manchester and Scotland on a monthly basis. I believe if you have the passion and determination to succeed nothing can stand in your way! 

Does lack of representation in your field motivate you to succeed?
I have always been taught that growing up as a black female you always have to strive twice as hard to succeed. So I wouldn't say because of the lack of representation in my field motivates to succeed. Being a black female motivates me to succeed! 

Do you have any words of encouragement for girls who are looking to join your field but may be discouraged by the lack of representation?
For females looking to join the Accounting and Finance industry my advice to you will be to keep working hard, continue to search and seize new opportunities, believe in yourself and capabilities, don't sell yourself short and never give up! 

In this day and age lack of representation not only happens in our workplaces but in our day to day lives, e.g. tv shows, beauty industry and politics. What are your thoughts on this?
It's such a big shame that we live in the 21st Century in a developed economy and we still have a lack of minorities representation in places such as the Police Force and Parliament. It's a issue that has been talked about for a while now, and it seems nothing tangible is being done to stop this lack of representation.  

What can be done towards change?
I believe encouraging young black woman not to feel intimidated by the lack of representation, but to still chase their dreams in these industry's to make a change. Also, I believe that it is for the of older black women to teach younger woman  and empower them not to allow the lack of good representation in the media to negatively impact them as a person. 


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